How To Make Vegan Spanish Paella

This colorful vegan paella is great for dinner parties


2 Minutes Read

vegan Spanish paella filled with rice, saffron, olives, beans, beyond sausage, and lots of vegetables Enjoy this high protein medley of plant-based ingredients in this vegan paella - Media Credit: Nuts & Twigs

This vibrant vegan paella recipe from Nuts & Twigs is packed full of flavor, and it’s the perfect dish to make if you’re welcoming guests this weekend.

This one pan dish features a variety of vegetables like bell peppers, beans, and peas, and each bite bursts with fresh flavors and satisfying textures. The saffron adds a beautiful golden hue and distinct taste, while the rice base absorbs the savory vegan broth, making it rich and flavorful. This recipe is not only a feast for the eyes but also packs a punch in terms of nutrition.

Read more: 20 High Protein Vegan Dinner Ideas

High in plant protein in the forms of vegan sausages and butter beans, this vegan Spanish paella recipe is perfect for those looking to fuel their body with wholesome ingredients. It’s easy to prepare, making it ideal for busy weeknights. However, it’s also impressive enough for special occasions. The ingredients are flexible, allowing you to customize the dish based on what’s available or in season.

If you didn’t know, paella is originally from Valencia, Spain, and it’s known for its rich flavors and communal appeal. It’s traditionally made with a mix of meats and seafood, but this vegan version stays true to these communal roots, inviting everyone to enjoy a healthy, protein-rich meal together, without the meat.

Read more: 20 Vegan Recipes That Contain Omega-3

Vegan Spanish paella

This one-pan vegan version of the traditional Spanish paella is packed with tasty veggies and plant protein. This dish is relatively easy to put together, just remember to not stir your rice. Otherwise, you'll miss out on the crispy caramelized rice layer at the bottom of your pan known as "socarrat".
vegan Spanish paella filled with rice, saffron, olives, beans, beyond sausage, and lots of vegetables
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Duration50 minutes


  • 1 tsp saffron threads or a ¼ tsp ground saffron
  • 5 cups hot vegetable broth
  • 3 Beyond Meat sausages sliced
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced
  • 1 small zucchini sliced into half-moons
  • 1 cup asparagus cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3.5 ounces oyster mushrooms chopped
  • 1 can butter beans or fava beans, shelled
  • cup red wine optional
  • 2 cups paella rice bomba or calasparra rice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary or three sprigs
  • ½ tsp pepper, to taste
  • 12 cherry tomatoes halved, or one tomato, chopped
  • ¼ cup sweet peas canned or frozen
  • ¼ cup pimientos (optional)
  • ¼ cup Spanish manzanilla olives sliced
  • Lemon wedges for serving


  • Heat up 5 cups of hot broth using the microwave or stovetop. Crush the saffron threads gently between your fingers, mix it in the hot broth, and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large pan. Add the sliced sausages and saute until lightly browned about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. They'll release some flavorful oil, so leave that in the pan.
  • In the same pan, add diced onion and garlic with a pinch of salt and sauté until onions are translucent.
  • Incorporate sliced bell peppers, zucchini, asparagus, mushrooms, and beans cooking until the vegetables start to soften and reduce slightly in size, about 5 minutes. Then add the wine if using to deglaze the pan and allow it to evaporate, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the sausage back in. Stir in the rice, smoked paprika, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Allow the rice to toast slightly to enhance its flavor, about 2 minutes. If using rosemary sprigs, nestle them on top.
  • Turn up the burner to medium-high heat. Pour in the saffron-infused broth, ensuring it fully covers the rice. Gently press down any grains peeking out above the surface and give the pan a good shake to even out the contents.  But do not stir.
  •  It should be simmering vigorously on medium-high. Let the paella cook uncovered for about 15-18 minutes or until the rice is al dente and most liquid has been absorbed. The rice should be firm but cooked through. If some of the top rice pieces are a little firm, they will continue to soften in the next step
  • Turn the heat to medium and gently scatter the sliced cherry tomatoes over the pan, nudging them down just enough so they're snugly nestled and partially submerged.
  • hen, top the dish with peas, olives, and slivers of pimientos, and partially cover with a lid or aluminum foil. Cook for an additional 10 minutes to heat the toppings and form the socarrat.
  • Take a quick peek at the bottom of the pan by scooping aside a bit of rice for a glance. You're looking for a pleasant dark brown color, but not burnt. If no socarrat is in sight, up the heat for a minute or two. 
  • Serve the vegan paella hot, with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the top.
Pimentos and Spanish manzanilla olives are found in jars in the same section in the grocery store as olives.
Use the largest pan you have. 

This recipe was republished with permission from Regina Pearce (of Nuts & Twigs). You can view the original recipe here.

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